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Blackwell Companions to Philosophy

This outstanding student reference series offers a comprehensive and authoritative survey of philosophy as a whole. Written by today's leading philosophers, each volume provides lucid and engaging coverage of the key figures, terms, topics, and problems of the field. Taken together, the volumes provide the ideal basis for course use, representing an unparalleled work of reference for students and specialists alike.

Already published in the series:

  1. The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, Second Edition
    Edited by Nicholas Bunnin and Eric Tsui-James
  2. A Companion to Ethics
    Edited by Peter Singer
  3. A Companion to Aesthetics, Second Edition
    Edited by Stephen Davies, Kathleen Marie Higgins, Robert Hopkins, Robert Stecker, and David E. Cooper
  4. A Companion to Epistemology, Second Edition
    Edited by Jonathan Dancy, Ernest Sosa, and Matthias Steup
  5. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy (two-volume set), Second Edition
    Edited by Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit
  6. A Companion to Philosophy of Mind
    Edited by Samuel Guttenplan
  7. A Companion to Metaphysics, Second Edition
    Edited by Jaegwon Kim, Ernest Sosa, and Gary S. Rosenkrantz
  8. A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second Edition
    Edited by Dennis Patterson
  9. A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, Second Edition
    Edited by Charles Taliaferro, Paul Draper, and Philip L. Quinn
  10. A Companion to the Philosophy of Language
    Edited by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright
  11. A Companion to World Philosophies
    Edited by Eliot Deutsch and Ron Bontekoe
  12. A Companion to Continental Philosophy
    Edited by Simon Critchley and William Schroeder
  13. A Companion to Feminist Philosophy
    Edited by Alison M. Jaggar and Iris Marion Young
  14. A Companion to Cognitive Science
    Edited by William Bechtel and George Graham
  15. A Companion to Bioethics, Second Edition
    Edited by Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer
  16. A Companion to the Philosophers
    Edited by Robert L. Arrington
  17. A Companion to Business Ethics
    Edited by Robert E. Frederick
  18. A Companion to the Philosophy of Science
    Edited by W. H. Newton-Smith
  19. A Companion to Environmental Philosophy
    Edited by Dale Jamieson
  20. A Companion to Analytic Philosophy
    Edited by A.P. Martinich and David Sosa
  21. A Companion to Genethics
    Edited by Justine Burley and John Harris
  22. A Companion to Philosophical Logic
    Edited by Dale Jacquette
  23. A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy
    Edited by Steven Nadler
  24. A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages
    Edited by Jorge J.E. Gracia and Timothy B. Noone
  25. A Companion to African-American Philosophy
    Edited by Tommy L. Lott and John P. Pittman
  26. A Companion to Applied Ethics
    Edited by R.G. Frey and Christopher Heath Wellman
  27. A Companion to the Philosophy of Education
    Edited by Randall Curren
  28. A Companion to African Philosophy
    Edited by Kwasi Wiredu
  29. A Companion to Heidegger
    Edited by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall
  30. A Companion to Rationalism
    Edited by Alan Nelson
  31. A Companion to Pragmatism
    Edited by John R. Shook and Joseph Margolis
  32. A Companion to Ancient Philosophy
    Edited by Mary Louise Gill and Pierre Pellegrin
  33. A Companion to Nietzsche
    Edited by Keith Ansell Pearson
  34. A Companion to Socrates
    Edited by Sara Ahbel-Rappe and Rachana Kamtekar
  35. A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism
    Edited by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall
  36. A Companion to Kant
    Edited by Graham Bird
  37. A Companion to Plato
    Edited by Hugh H. Benson
  38. A Companion to Descartes
    Edited by Janet Broughton and John Carriero
  39. A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology
    Edited by Sahotra Sarkar and Anya Plutynski
  40. A Companion to Hume
    Edited by Elizabeth S. Radcliffe
  41. A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography
    Edited by Aviezer Tucker
  42. A Companion to Aristotle
    Edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos
  43. A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology
    Edited by Jan-Kyrre Berg Olsen, Stig Andur Pedersen, and Vincent F. Hendricks
  44. A Companion to Latin American Philosophy
    Edited by Susana Nuccetelli, Ofelia Schutte, and Otávio Bueno
  45. A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature
    Edited by Garry L. Hagberg and Walter Jost
  46. A Companion to the Philosophy of Action
    Edited by Timothy O'Connor and Constantine Sandis
  47. A Companion to Relativism
    Edited by Steven D. Hales
  48. A Companion to Hegel
    Edited by Stephen Houlgate and Michael Baur
  49. A Companion to Schopenhauer
    Edited by Bart Vandenabeele
  50. A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy
    Edited by Steven M. Emmanuel
  51. A Companion to Foucault
    Edited by Christopher Falzon, Timothy O'Leary, and Jana Sawicki
  52. A Companion to the Philosophy of Time
    Edited by Heather Dyke and Adrian Bardon
  53. A Companion to Donald Davidson
    Edited by Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig
  54. A Companion to Rawls
    Edited by Jon Mandle and David Reidy
  55. A Companion to W.V.O. Quine
    Edited by Gilbert Harman and Ernie Lepore
  56. A Companion to Derrida
    Edited by Zeynep Direk and Leonard Lawlor
  57. A Companion to David Lewis
    Edited by Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer
  58. A Companion to Kierkegaard
    Edited by Jon Stewart
  59. A Companion to Locke
    Edited by Matthew Stuart
  60. A Companion to Hermeneutics
    Edited by Niall Keane and Chris Lawn
  61. A Companion to Ayn Rand
    Edited by Allan Gotthelf and Gregory Salmieri

A Companion to Ayn Rand

Edited by

Allan Gotthelf and Gregory Salmieri

Wiley Logo

In the pages that follow, you will read a great deal about a heroism that consists in loving one's life and living it fully. This book is dedicated to the memory of two of its authors who were such heroes – men who, throughout their lives, projected a profound benevolence and love of this world; and who, during their battles with cancer, often served as a comfort and an inspiration to the friends who sought to comfort them.

To John David Lewis (1955–2012), a consummate fighter for his values.

And to Allan Gotthelf (1942–2013), whose spirit and wisdom have informed every page of this Companion, both through his own editorial work and through his influence on those of us who live on – his coeditor, especially.

Notes on Contributors

Harry Binswanger, who was an associate of Ayn Rand in her final years, teaches philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute. He has taught, and lectured on, esthetics at Pratt Institute and elsewhere and has taught philosophy at Hunter College (City University of New York) and the University of Texas at Austin. He edited The Ayn Rand Lexicon (Penguin, 1986) and coedited (with Leonard Peikoff) the expanded second edition of Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (Penguin, 1990). He is the author of The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts (ARI Press, 1990) and How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation (TOF Publications, 2014).

Tore Boeckmann is an independent scholar of Romanticism in art. He has lectured and written extensively on Ayn Rand’s novels and literary esthetics, and he edited for publication her guide to literature, The Art of Fiction (Plume, 2000). His most significant recent work includes an essay on the painter Caspar David Friedrich; his most delightful work includes an essay on the literary origins of Rand’s flamboyant playboy hero Francisco d’Anconia in Robert Mayhew (ed.), Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (Lexington Books, 2009). He is currently writing a book on Romanticism from Victor Hugo to Ayn Rand.

Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, where he specializes in philosophy. He teaches in the Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center and serves as a writer, media spokesman, and senior editor for the Institute. He publishes both scholarly and popular articles on Rand’s fiction and philosophy. Recent essays include “Atlas Shrugged: America’s Second Declaration of Independence,” in Debi Ghate and Richard E. Ralston (eds.), Why Businessmen Need Philosophy (New American Library, 2nd edition, 2011) and “The Plight of Leo Kovalensky,” in Essays on Ayn Rand’s We the Living (Lexington Books, 2nd edition, 2012). His current research focuses on religion and morality and the separation of church and state.

Allan Gotthelf (1942–2013) was, at the time of his death, Anthem Foundation Distinguished Fellow for Research and Teaching in Philosophy at Rutgers University and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey. From 2003 to 2012 he was Visiting Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he held an Anthem Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism. He was a founding member of the Ayn Rand Society and served as chair of its steering committee (from 1990 until his death) and as the primary editor of the Society’s Philosophical Studies series. He is the author of On Ayn Rand (Wadsworth, 2000), and of many articles on Aristotle, 15 of which are collected in his Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle’s Biology (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Lester H. Hunt is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has also taught at Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Nietzsche and the Origins of Virtue (Routledge, 1990), Character and Culture (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), and Anarchy, State, and Utopia: An Advanced Guide (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015) and is editor of two books of original essays: Grade Inflation: Academic Standards in Higher Education (SUNY, 2008) and (with Noel Carroll) Philosophy in the Twilight Zone (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). He has also written several dozen scholarly articles on ethics, social and political philosophy, the presentation of philosophical ideas in literature and film, and problems in the history of philosophy.

John David Lewis (1955–2012), after a 25-year career in business, changed direction and earned a PhD in Classics at the University of Cambridge in 2001. At the time of his death, in 2012, he was Visiting Associate Professor in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at Duke University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He published three books, Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens (Bristol Classics, 2006), Early Greek Lawgivers (Bloomsbury Academic, 2007), and Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History (Princeton University Press, 2010), and many articles and reviews in academic journals and the public press.

James G. Lennox is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He was one of the founding members of the Ayn Rand Society, and is currently co-chair of the Society’s steering committee and coeditor of its Philosophical Studies series. He is author of Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Aristotle on the Parts of Animals I–IV (Oxford University Press, 2001), and coeditor of Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology (Cambridge University Press, 1987), Concepts, Theories, and Rationality in the Biological Sciences (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995) and Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle: Essays in Honor of Allan Gotthelf (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Currently he is working on a book on Aristotle’s norms of inquiry and collaborating on a translation and commentary of Aristotle’s Meteorology IV.

Shoshana Milgram is Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she has taught since earning her PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University. She has published articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers in French, Russian, and English/American literatures, including Victor Hugo, George Sand, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoi, Victoria Cross, George Eliot, John Fowles, W.S. Gilbert, Ursula K. LeGuin, Nabokov, Herbert Spencer, Steinbeck, E.L. Voynich, and Ayn Rand. She has also published articles on “Capitalism,” “Cinema,” and “Leader” in J.C. Seigneuret’s Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs, as well as introductions to editions of Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea and The Man Who Laughs and Nevil Shute’s The Seafarers. She is at work on a book-length study of Ayn Rand’s life from birth to 1957.

Fred D. Miller, Jr. is Research Professor at the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Executive Director of the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. He is author of Nature, Justice, and Rights in Aristotle’s Politics (Oxford University Press, 1995) and coeditor of A Companion to Aristotle’s Politics (Blackwell, 1995), Freedom, Reason, and the Polis: Essays in Ancient Greek Political Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2007), A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics (Springer, 2007), and Reason and Analysis in Ancient Greek Philosophy (Springer, 2012). He is also Executive Editor of Social Philosophy & Policy. He is currently preparing a translation of Aristotle’s De Anima and Parva Naturalia for Oxford University Press.

Adam Mossoff is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law and a co-founder of and Director of Academic Programs at the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at Mason Law. He has published numerous book chapters, essays, and journal articles on topics in patent law, property law, legal history, and legal philosophy, including “Saving Locke from Marx: The Labor Theory of Value in Intellectual Property Theory” (Social Philosophy and Policy, 29(2), 2012). He has testified before the Senate and House on patent legislation, and he is a frequent speaker at professional and academic conferences, as well as at the PTO, the DOJ, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Smithsonian Institution, on topics in intellectual property policy.

Jason G. Rheins is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has held teaching positions at St. John’s University, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his PhD in Philosophy in 2010 with a dissertation on Plato’s theology and its place within his ontology and natural philosophy. He has published articles on topics in the philosophy of science and Ancient Greek philosophy. His current research focuses on metaphysical issues related to the cosmology and theology of Plato, Aristotle, and their successors.

Gregory Salmieri holds a fellowship in philosophy at the Anthem Foundation and teaches at Rutgers University. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008, and subsequently held teaching and research positions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2008–2012) and at Boston University (2012–2014). He has published on issues in Aristotle’s epistemology and ethics and on Rand’s philosophy and novels. He is co-chair of the Ayn Rand Society’s Steering Committee, and coeditor of its Philosophical Studies series. He is also the editor of a forthcoming multi-author volume on Aristotle’s epistemology.

Tara Smith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and is the Anthem Foundation Fellow. She is the author of Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), and Moral Rights and Political Freedom (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995), as well as numerous articles in moral, legal, and political philosophy.

Darryl Wright is Professor of Philosophy at Harvey Mudd College (The Claremont Colleges). He works in the areas of moral and political philosophy and has published several articles on Ayn Rand’s ethical thought as well as articles on G.E. Moore and F.H. Bradley. Recent publications include “Evaluative Concepts and Objective Values: Rand on Moral Objectivity” (Social Philosophy and Policy, 25(1), 2008) and “Reasoning About Ends: Life as a Value in Ayn Rand’s Ethics,” in A. Gotthelf and J.G. Lennox (eds.), Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue: Studies in Ayn Rand’s Normative Theory (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). He is currently writing a book on Ayn Rand’s ethics and its relation to contemporary (meta)ethical theories.


Work on this book began in December of 2006 when Allan Gotthelf and I first discussed the possibility of a companion-style volume on Ayn Rand. He was my teacher and dear friend, and his death in 2013, after a 15-year battle with prostate cancer, was a loss to the philosophy profession and a profound loss to me personally. Our collaboration on this project was one of the great joys of my life, and I wish he could have lived to see its completion. Now that the work is finished, I can find no better way to express my gratitude to Allan than by repeating the words of a friend to whom he introduced me 17 years ago: inline inline inline inline inline inline (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1164b2–6).

There are many others who deserve thanks for their role in making this book possible. First, I trust that I speak for all the contributors to this Companion when I acknowledge the great debt we owe to Leonard Peikoff, who has been a teacher to all of us (whether in person or through his books and recorded courses). The many citations to him throughout this book are testament to this debt. Moreover, as the executor of Rand’s estate he is responsible for making available the many posthumously published and archival materials that have enriched all of our understanding of Rand’s thought and life.

This brings me to the subject of the Ayn Rand Archives. Thank you to Mike Berliner, Jeff Britting, and Jenniffer Woodson for building and maintaining the Archives, for making it available to us, and for all of your help navigating it over the years. The Ayn Rand Institute, of which the Archives is a department, has been responsible for a host of programs and events over the past 30 years that contributed immeasurably to the work and intellectual development of many of the contributing authors (myself included).

The last decade of Allan’s life was a period of great productivity made possible by the support of the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, which has also supported my research since 2008. I would like to acknowledge three people at Anthem in particular. John McCaskey, who founded Anthem and was its first president, created the fellowship that brought Allan to the University of Pittsburgh in 2003 (when I was a graduate student there) and put him in a position to organize workshops and conferences that raised the scholarly level of work on Rand immeasurably. John was also instrumental in placing me in my first job in 2008, and he has been a source of professional advice in the years since. Debi Ghate, Anthem’s president 2009–2013, was a constant supporter of my and Allan’s careers and an able executive in difficult times. The same is true of Yaron Brook, the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, who also serves as the chairman of Anthem’s board of directors and who took over as president when Debi left.

Thank you also to Jim Lennox, for being an excellent doctoral advisor, for his role in bringing Allan to Pittsburgh, for being a vital part of the intellectual community there, and for his continuing support and advice in countless matters big and small.

Our editors at Wiley Blackwell, several of whom have come and gone while we were working on this book, have displayed supernatural patience. I am grateful to all, but I’d like to thank especially Nick Bellorini, with whom we signed our contract in 2008, and Deirdre Ilkson, who proposed incorporating the book into the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series. Thanks also to Fiona Screen, who shepherded this book through the production process, and to our two copyeditors, Michael Coultas and Anna Oxbury. All three have been a consistent pleasure to work with, despite my frustrating habit of introducing changes (and lengthening chapters) long after submission of the manuscript. Michael and I made most of the decisions concerning formatting and style together, and he copyedited more than half of the book before unexpectedly passing away. We did not meet in person, but his emails revealed him to be a kind and thoughtful man who loved his work and took pride in doing it well. Anna, working with remarkable speed, both maintained the high standard Michael had set and finished the copyediting in time to meet our production schedule.

I would like to acknowledge several friends and colleagues to whom Allan and I turned for advice either about individual chapters or the design of the book as a whole: Geoff Sayre-McCord, James Brazell, Mary Ann Sures, and Shoshana Milgram. Mike Mazza, in his capacity as a research assistant, checked most of the quotes in the book and made many helpful suggestions about the content of various chapters. Three other friends – Matt Bateman, Ben Bayer, and Onkar Ghate – took on significant editorial work, each on a different chapter, during a period when Allan’s health prevented him from working and I was overwhelmed. They have my deep gratitude both for their friendship and for their excellent work.

Thank you to all of the contributors to this volume both for bearing with our sometimes demanding editorial style, and for their patience with the many delays on the road to publication.

Finally, I’d like to thank my wife, Karen, both for her help with this project (which took many forms) and for everything she’s brought to my life. And I’d like to thank Cass Love and her husband Ron for all of their help with this project, for their friendship, and for the unique role they played in Allan’s life.

Gregory Salmieri

A Note on Abbreviations and References

Rand’s own works and certain others that we have identified as “quasi-primary sources” are listed in the annotated bibliography at the end of this volume and cited in the text by the abbreviations indicated below. The numbers after the abbreviations indicate where they can be found in the bibliography.

In some cases, where a passage exists in two sources, we cite it to both separated by a slash. In such cases, the quoted material (if any) is as it appears in the first of the two citations. This format is used (among other times) when quoting from the original archival sources of material by Rand that has been posthumously published in an edited form.

Citations to works by figures in the history of philosophy are given in the standard formats used by scholars of those figures: Bekker numbers for Aristotle, Academy numbers for Kant, and so on. Other works are cited in the author/date format; bibliographic information for these works can be found in the references at the end of each chapter. Multiple works by an author from the same calendar year are distinguished by letters, and these references are standardized throughout the volume; so, for example, Allan Gotthelf’s essay on “Dagny’s Final Choice” is referenced as Gotthelf 2009b even in chapters that do not also make reference to Gotthelf 2009a.

Answers Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A. #46.
Anthem Revised edition of Anthem. #3.
Anthem38 1938 edition of Anthem. #3.
AOF The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers. #44.
AON The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers. #45.
ARL The Ayn Rand Letter. #18.
Atlas Atlas Shrugged. #5.
Biographical Interviews Biographical interviews of Ayn Rand conducted by Barbara and Nathaniel Branden in 1960–1961. #49.
Column The Ayn Rand Column. #14.
CUI Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. #8.
Early The Early Ayn Rand. #36.
Fountainhead The Fountainhead. #4.
FTNI For The New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. #6.
HOP1 Leonard Peikoff. Founders of Western Philosophy: Thales to Hume. #32.
HOP2 Leonard Peikoff. Modern Philosophy: Kant to the Present. #33.
Ideal Ideal: The Novel and the Play. #39.
ITOE Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. #9.
Journals Journals of Ayn Rand. #42.
Letters Letters of Ayn Rand. #41.
Marginalia Ayn Rand’s Marginalia: Her Critical Comments on the Writings of over 20 Authors. #40.
OPAR Leonard Peikoff. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. #52.
Papers The Ayn Rand Papers, a collection of the Ayn Rand Archives. #48.
Parallels Leonard Peikoff. The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America. #35.
Playboy Interview Ayn Rand’s interview in Playboy Magazine. #23.
Plays Three Plays. #37.
PWNI Philosophy: Who Needs It. #12.
RM The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature. #10.
ROTP Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution. #15.
Russian Writings Russian Writings on Hollywood. #43.
Speaking Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed. #47.
TIA The Intellectual Activist. #19.
TO The Objectivist. #17.
TOF The Objectivist Forum. #20.
TON The Objectivist Newsletter. #16.
TPO Leonard Peikoff. The Philosophy of Objectivism. #34.
Unconquered The Unconquered with another, earlier adaptation of We the Living. #38.
VAR Nathaniel Branden. The Vision of Ayn Rand: The Basic Principles of Objectivism. #51.
VOR The Voice of Reason. #13.
VOS The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism. #7.
WIAR Nathaniel Branden. Who Is Ayn Rand? #31.
Workshops Transcript of the Objectivist Workshops. #50.
WTL Revised edition of We the Living. #1.
WTL36 1936 edition of We the Living. #1.

Part I